Common knowledge paints concrete as one of a few indestructible forces in and around your home. Unfortunately, rumors about concrete’s hardiness can oversell the material’s longevity, especially in the face of flooding and other types of damage.
Whether you’re moving into a new home for the first time or settling into the same house you’ve lived in for years, you need to keep an eye on the health of your concrete. Common problems can pop up over time and make your home more vulnerable to foundation, basement, or crawl space damage while also devaluing the concrete structures—like your patio, pool deck, or driveway—that you’ve come to rely on.
Concrete Problems as a New Homeowner
Moving into a new home can be stressful. Not only do you have to keep track of all of your things, but you also have to adjust to a brand new environment with its own unique challenges. The first thing on your mind when moving into a new home likely won’t be the state of the concrete. However, if you’re able to keep a close eye on the concrete around your property, you can avoid some of the common problems other new homeowners may have to deal with, including:
Early Cut Damage
Concrete can take a considerable amount of time to cure, especially if you’ve poured a lot of it. Some construction teams, however, can cut concrete before it’s had a chance to finish curing. Concrete with edges that were cut too early can more readily disintegrate or take on damage when exposed to the elements. Fixing this kind of problem isn’t especially easy, as you may have to request that a construction team or a new set of contractors repour the structure in question.
If construction workers don’t allow your concrete to cure for the appropriate amount of time or provide it with the moisture it needs to cure effectively, your concrete may be more brittle than it should be. In these cases, your concrete may be more prone to cracks than concrete that’s been treated appropriately.
Cracks do not spell immediate danger for you and your family, but they can indicate instability in the structure you’ve had installed. You’ll want to have a professional inspect these cracks and seal them as soon as possible, provided the problems in question don’t run deeper.
Concrete Problems Down the Line
Unfortunately, you can’t always get ahead of the problems that plague your concrete. Some problems can crop up long after you’ve moved into your new place. Five to 10 years after you move into a new property, for example, you may find yourself contending with common problems like:
Ideally, concrete is a stationary addition to your yard or home. This, however, is not always the case. “Concrete crawl” refers to instances in which concrete, upon expanding and contracting in the heat, begins to move beyond the bounds into which it was originally poured. A concrete pool deck, for example, can push up against the boundaries of your house and begin to displace the structural supports keeping your walls upright.
Concrete crawl is especially frustrating for homeowners to contend with. More often than not, you’ll have to replace both the structures the concrete crawl has damaged and the concrete itself to prevent your home from suffering further. However, professional contractors working in your area can guide you through this process and can fit you with the tools you need to prevent new concrete from crawling toward your home in the future.
Long-term exposure to standing water can weaken your concrete considerably. If you don’t remove the water from the surface of your concrete, it can begin to develop pockmarks. Similarly, concrete can begin to erode at the edges if you live in an area that sees frequent flooding. You can waterproof your concrete to prevent this kind of damage or otherwise install barriers that can prevent water from sitting in your driveway or on your pool deck for too long.
What’s Causing Your Concrete Problems?
If you’re not a professional, you may not be able to tell why it is that your concrete seems to be taking on damage. There are a few different forces that can work against your concrete, including problematic soil, tree roots and pests in your yard. However, there is one force that tends to work in tandem with all of the rest: hydrostatic pressure.
Hydrostatic pressure builds up around your home’s concrete when it rains or when groundwater starts to push against your building materials. That water can change the temperature at which your concrete resides. In turn, your concrete can begin to change size and shape on a molecular level, becoming weaker the longer it’s exposed to water and inconsistent temperatures.
Addressing Your Home’s Concrete Problems
You don’t have to let any problems with your home’s concrete overwhelm you. Instead, you can reach out to the professionals serving Huntsville, AL, for guidance. Area contractors like the pros at AFS can come out to your property and inspect the structures that you believe may be suffering from damage. After completing an inspection, you can look over a free services quote provided by the experts. This way, you can get a better idea of what repairs or protective measures you may want to invest in to better protect your home. Contact the expert team at AFS today for a free inspection and repair quote.